I'm well into the editing process for Heir Apparent, and have to say -- this novel should be a good one!
Of my first three novels, Leverage and Incentivize are fairly violent, while Deliverables is focused more on white collar crime. Heir Apparent is the most violent and action-packed yet. I've finished about 80% of the read-through, and there's action on almost every page. And a few twists and surprises thrown in as well.
Leverage was a mystery, as well as a thriller. Deliverables too. Heir Apparent carries on that tradition, but in this case, the reader probably won't have as much trouble figuring out "who done it" as they will "why", and "with who's help".
The concept of the novel comes from a personal experience -- one night during a retreat dinner I over-heard my boss, the CEO of the company, say to the CFO "I'll never retire." On hearing this, I turned to him, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Well, then someone will just have to kill you, won't they?" Of course, I meant it as a joke, but then got to thinking -- what if a senior manager did decide they needed to kill the CEO? What if they were smart, experienced with weapons, and an excellent planner and dissembler? Could they pull it off? How would they commit the crime? What actions would they take to throw the police off their trail?
Thus, the concept for Heir Apparent was born -- a good decade or more before the actual writing began.
Now, reading through the first draft, I am very happy with the way the plot evolves and with the way the story spins out.
Of course, as with any first draft, there is plenty to correct. There are too many characters across four different companies profiled in the tale. There is not enough development on a couple of the core characters. And there are plenty of the garden variety grammar, usage, dialog and word selection corrections to make. I'm hoping after just two passes through the manuscript, I can send proofs out to a couple readers and get their reactions (email me if you're interested in helping). I'm hoping by inserting this step in the current process, I can go without writing a full third draft. We will see...
But for now -- quite happy with the work in progress.